Hundreds of Thousands of Anti-coup Protesters in Sudan's Capital Face Tear Gas

Demonstrators are marking three years since the start of protests that led to Bashir's overthrow, while calling for the military to loosen its grip on Sudan's political life

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Protesters in northern Khartoum, Sudan, on Sunday.
Protesters in northern Khartoum, Sudan, on Sunday.Credit: AFP

Security forces fired tear gas on protesters in Sudan's capital Khartoum on Sunday, after blocking major roads and bridges across the country to prevent the demonstrations over the October 25 military coup that have continued even after the reinstatement of the prime minister.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to Khartoum's streets, and demonstrations also began in other cities across the country to mark the third anniversary of protests that touched off a popular uprising which led to the overthrow of long-ruling Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Video footage circulated online purported to show protesters marching in the streets of Khartoum. They gathered less than a kilometer (0.6 mile) from the presidential palace, chanting "the people are stronger and retreat is impossible".

Some protesters made it to the south gate of the palace, footage shared on social media shows.

Protesters near the presidential palace in Khartoum.

Security forces, including joint army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, were heavily deployed in the area. Demonstrators ran into side streets to shield from the tear gas. 

Images shared on social media showed protests in cities outside Khartoum, including Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast and El-Deain in the western region of Darfur.

There were also protests in Atbara, the birthplace of the uprising against al-Bashir.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok warned in a statement that Sudan's revolution faced a major setback and that political intransigence from all sides threatened the country's unity and stability.

Security forces sealed off major roads leading to the airport and army headquarters as well as most bridges connecting Khartoum to sister cities Bahri and Omdurman across the Nile river.

This is the ninth in a series of demonstrations against the coup that have continued even after the military reinstated Hamdok, who had been under house arrest, on November 21 and released him and other high-profile political detainees.

Anti-military demonstrators in Khartoum, on Sunday.Credit: - - AFP

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors says 45 people have been killed in crackdowns on protesters since the coup.

The military and civilian political parties had previously shared power since Bashir's removal. But the deal reinstating Hamdok faces opposition from protesters who had seen him as a symbol of resistance to military rule and denounced it as a betrayal.

Civilian parties, and neighborhood resistance committees that have organized several mass protests, demand full civilian rule under the slogan "no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy."

On Saturday night and early Sunday morning, people arrived in bus convoys from other states, including North Kordofan and Gezira, to join protests in Khartoum, witnesses said.

A rally on Friday by members of civilian parties, known as the Forces of Freedom and Change coalition, was broken up by tear gas from an unclear source as witnesses told Reuters there was no sign of security forces on the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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